Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Republicans’ Refusal To Debate Equal Pay For Women In America

June 9, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the Republicans’ partisan blockage of legislation that would close the wage gap and ensure equal pay for women. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

We saw the limits of bipartisanship in the Senate last evening right after we voted on USICA, the United States Innovation and Competition Act. Minutes after coming together to pass a that sweeping competition bill, Senate Republicans mounted a partisan filibuster against the very straightforward piece of legislation to help provide equal pay to women.

The vote was party-line. Not a single Republican Senator voted in favor of even debating the bill. Sure, my colleagues might not like every aspect of Democratic legislation. I understand that. But if you want to change the bill, you have to let the Senate debate it and amend it.

It is shocking that my Republican colleagues believe that the Senate has no role to play in defending the rights of women who are unfairly—and illegally—discriminated against in the workplace.

For a reason that I can’t understand, the issue of pay equity has become a partisan one sadly: Democrats in favor, Republicans opposed. Despite the fact that the issue isn’t that partisan out in the country. A solid majority of voters see pay equity as a problem and believe Congress has a role to play in solving it.

It reminds me of gun safety. 90-95% of America supports expanding background checks so that people who shouldn’t get a gun, felons and others, don’t. The vast majority of Republicans in the country, the vast majority of gun owners in the country, support that policy. Only in D.C.—among Republicans here in the Senate and in the House—is that issue remotely partisan, where Washington Republicans have traditionally opposed it.

So before the press writes the latest Republican filibuster of equal pay legislation as just another chapter in the typical partisan games, just remember that the only place this issue is partisan is in Washington, with Republicans way out of touch with what the American people want.

Americans across the country expect their government to make progress on big issues, even if we don’t agree on everything. But yesterday, sadly, Senate Republicans once again chose the path of obstruction and gridlock.